# Why is NaHCO_3 used to neutralize H_2SO_4 and not NaOH?

Nov 18, 2015

I suspect that it is for safety reasons.

#### Explanation:

Both substances will neutralize sulfuric acid perfectly well.

But solid sodium hydroxide is more corrosive to human skin than sodium hydrogen carbonate is.

Also, the concentration of hydroxide ions in a solution of sodium hydrogen carbonate is much less than in a solution of sodium hydroxide with the same molarity.

So, a spilled solution of sodium hydrogen carbonate will be less caustic than a solution of sodium hydroxide.